Are you getting the broadband speed you were promised by your provider? Use our free speed test to investigate.
If your broadband isn't as fast as it should be, there are simple steps you can take to speed up your connection, and these can make a huge difference.
For the most accurate results, you should use a cable to connect your computer to your router before running the test. If you need to test wirelessly, position yourself as close to your router as possible.
You should also make sure nothing else is using your internet connection, or running on your computer, while performing the test.
The tool measures the response time, or latency, of your broadband connection, as well as your download and upload speeds.
The response time, measured in milliseconds (ms), shows how quickly you get a response after you've sent out a request. More responsive connections – indicated with a low number – are necessary for applications where timing is everything, such as interactive video games.
The download speed shows the rate at which data is transferred from the internet to your device, while the upload speed shows the reverse – the rate that data is transferred from your device to the internet. Download speeds are usually of more interest, as most tasks require you to download information. However, if you use your connection for video calls or online gaming, keep an eye on the upload rate, too, as it's essential for both.
It's important to note that the speed test results only represent a snapshot of your broadband connection at the time of testing. So to build an accurate picture, we would suggest you run several tests during a single week, in peak use time (between 8pm and 10pm) and during off-peak times.
The results also only show the speeds you're getting on the device you're using for the test – the speed your provider is delivering to your home may be higher, especially if you're performing the test wirelessly at some distance from your router.
If your speeds are significantly less than you expected, your broadband provider may be in breach of contract. We suggest calling your internet service provider (ISP) as a first step to see what it can do. Start by providing evidence of your internet speeds – it's a good idea to keep a diary of interruptions and to regularly use the speed checker tool to build up a true picture of your service.
If your broadband contract started after March 2019 and you're with one of the providers that has signed Ofcom’s voluntary code of practice (BT, EE, Plusnet, TalkTalk, Utility Warehouse, Virgin Media and Zen Internet), your provider must give you a minimum guaranteed speed when you take out a new contract. If your speed drops below this, your provider must improve it within a month – if it can't, it must allow you to exit your contract penalty-free.
If you're unhappy with your current broadband provider, consider our top-rated provider instead. We can't guarantee it will give you the fastest speeds, but it convincingly beat 13 other major providers in our broadband satisfaction survey and is a Which? Recommended Provider.
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